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Toutankhamon (French Edition) by Gerard…

Toutankhamon (French Edition) (original 2008; edition 2010)

by Gerard Meudal Nick Drake (Author)

Series: Rahotep (2)

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1788122,380 (3.86)3
Rahotep, the stalwart chief detective of the Thebes division, is summoned to the palace to investigate a threat to the newly crowned Tutankhamun. As he begins to piece together the clues, he realizes that a series of mysterious gifts have much in common with a string of sadistic murders plaguing the city.… (more)
Title:Toutankhamon (French Edition)
Authors:Gerard Meudal Nick Drake (Author)
Info:Pocket (2010)
Collections:Your library

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Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows by Nick Drake (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A lot has happened between the events of Nefertiti and King Tutankhamun‘s reign. Drake does a good job filling in the gap: Akhenaten and his revolutionary new religion have collapsed, the priests have their power and wealth reinstated, and the capital city has returned to Thebes. A new king is on the throne, though he clearly doesn’t hold power.

In Rahotep’s personal life, things have changed, too. He is older, perhaps wiser, and still leery of any requests from royalty. In addition to his three adorable daughters, now he has a son, too. This book delves more into his family life more than the previous book, particularly his wife’s subtle weariness/resentment that her husband’s job intrudes upon their life. Even on special occasions, he is always “on call.”

He’s a sympathetic character, especially in the moments when he chooses mercy over the law. His family is intriguing. I would’ve loved to have spent more time with the girls, particularly his oldest daughter who is determined to become a physician, and his aged father, who lives with them.

Rahotep’s friend Nakht, whom we briefly meet in Nefertiti, returns and plays a larger role in this story. He’s an interesting character. His vast intellectual knowledge is a good complement to Rahotep’s earthier, practical knowledge. This is especially helpful when the case delves into the metaphysical/religious realm and the realm of forbidden-to-be-spoken-of matters. (Secret books and secret knowledge shared by a select group of initiates? I don’t know how much of this is historically accurate, but it was fun to see Nakht and Rahotep butt heads over whether these books exist!)

Even though things have returned to the status quo, there is still lots of conflict between the former state religion of Aten and the re-established religion of Amun. Drake does a great job showing how the predicted changes of the first book have happened, but stability hasn’t returned. The priestly class has returned to power. But there’s still resentment from those who had benefitted from the new and now forbidden religion, and who are now ruined from its dismantlement. There are violent retributions against the Aten-worshippers, including some gruesome rumors that Rahotep almost discounts. Almost.

What was most intriguing is how the young king and his sister-queen (she’s his half-sister) seek out Rahotep to help them. I like his interactions with both young people.

The conversations between young Tut and Rahotep are the most moving sections of the book. The king is young, frightened, and feels a wistful longing for his late parents. Rahotep, who knew the late king Akhenaten, can help fill in the gaps from Tut’s bewildering past. It’s clear that the young king is fragile and has no idea how to rule a kingdom, though he resents Ay’s assertion of authority over him.

As usual, Drake does an excellent job building the world of ancient Egypt. As I mentioned in my review of Nefertiti, my knowledge of this subject is woefully lacking, so I can’t confirm whether thus-and-such detail is correct. But Drake fills in the gaps in the historical record in imaginative ways and I truly enjoyed his theories about certain well-known facts.

While I like his descriptive world-building skills–and Drake is clearly skilled with words–after a while I started to skim the longer descriptions. Some felt repetitive, others felt overly long for the locale’s importance, and too many felt like they are detached from the actual story scenes. (Those with characters and action.) In my opinion, many could’ve been pared down without adversely affecting the story.

The descriptions of the former capital city are terrific. When Rahotep visits Akhetaten, the former capital city, alongside King Tut, the emotions run deep. Unfortunately, by the time I got to this part of the book, I was almost numb to the descriptions because I’d read so many others in the first fifty-percent of the book. I had to force myself to slow down to read this carefully.

It also didn’t help that I read Tutankhamun immediately after finishing Nefertiti. (I read my TBR list in the order of publication date and/or date of scheduled review.) These are books that need to be spaced apart.

Most authors have their favorite writing devices that they fall back on if they aren’t careful. Drake’s appear to be these long descriptive passages and equally long discussions about philosophy. They make the book feel disjointed at times, as if various disparate elements have been placed in sequences, rather than integrated together to form a story.

However, this was a good book. It will appeal to those who like historical fiction with some mystery, rather than those who prefer mystery with some history. If you enjoy lush descriptions and mysteries with a more leisurely pace, this book will appeal to you.

Note: Be forewarned that the murder methods are horrible, and the victims’ bodies are described in graphic detail. This will probably cross a line for many sensitive people.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  MeredithRankin | Sep 11, 2020 |
A decade after the events of the first book Rahotep is living a peaceful life as a Medjay officer in Thebes when he gets a knock on the door. A knock that will pull him back into the seedy world of a private investigator, this time at the calling of Tutankhamun and his queen, who want him to find out who is leaving threatening messages inside their very palace. It seems serious, but safe enough from his perspective, but things are never so simple in a mystery novel, right?

I was really hoping this would be an improvement over the first in the series, which wasn't bad but didn't wow me, but unfortunately this book suffers many of the same problems as its predecessor. You see, Nick Drake actually does two things really well. He's great at writing lengthy philosophical passages with an ancient Egyptian perspective, and he's great at piquing your interest with an intriguing mystery. The problem is he presents you with an interesting mystery, then abandons it for lengthy philosophical passages that are difficult to focus on because all you can focus on is the mystery. Grrr. I don't even like mysteries, and would much rather prefer the philosophy, but dammit, once you get me hooked, you can't just leave me hanging like that, man!

Another issue is the language, which feels far too modern for the setting. For example, at one point a person is described as standing "ramrod straight." A ramrod is not a thing that existed at the time. I constantly problem with the book is having the illusion dispelled, which never allows the book to fully draw you in.

Tutankhamun isn't a bad book necessarily, but I feel the same way about it as I did about Nefertiti. Which is to say...meh. ( )
  Ape | Sep 11, 2015 |
RATING: 2.5 stars.

A nice, quick read, "Tutankhamun" is a mystery set in Ancient Egypt. I liked the story, although I thought Rahotep didn't do much investigative work most of the time. Also, while Drake gets the overall descriptions of the places right, I felt he didn't really capture the ways of Ancient Egypt. The characters thinking was too modern, too 19th century England. The thought processes of most characters seemed out of place as did some expressions like when one character exclaims something like "that is so much rubish" and terms like "clubs" or "brothels" or the secret societies devoted solely to scientific study. Still, I liked this read and recommend it for fans of historical mysteries. ( )
  slayra | Sep 21, 2013 |
This is the second book in Drake's Rahotep trilogy. I didn't know previously it was a trilogy, but luckily I'd read the first one first. I know the phrase "history comes to life" is somehting of a cliche, but Drake truly does transport his readers to another time and another place, all the while showing that human interactions and motivations haven't changed all that much in 3,000+ years. Many plot points and details in the book Drake derived from historical fact. This book was clearly written before the discovery that Kiya was not Tut's mom, but such is the nature of historical writing. ( )
  AbiRay | Jun 4, 2013 |
This is a very interesting historical mystery about the short rein of Tutankhamun. It appears that Drake tried to stay true to what little is known about the boy king, and it was a fun read. ( )
  saramllr | Jan 4, 2012 |
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Year 10 of the reign of King Tutankhamun, Living Image of Amun
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Rahotep, the stalwart chief detective of the Thebes division, is summoned to the palace to investigate a threat to the newly crowned Tutankhamun. As he begins to piece together the clues, he realizes that a series of mysterious gifts have much in common with a string of sadistic murders plaguing the city.

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Tutankhamun, son of Akhenaten, has inherited an empire that seems to be at the height of its power and international glory. But the young King, just eighteen years old, is faced with the political and personal intrigues and conspiracies of the Court, where his godfather Ay, and the General Horemheb are locked in a bitter struggle for ascendancy. Tutankhamun must steer the empire back from the brink of disaster and dissent to which his father Akhenaten's rule led the Two Lands of Egypt, and re-assert the stability and authority of his famous dynasty.Rahotep, chief detective of the Thebes division, has his own worries - his daughters are growing up in a changing world of danger and instability, while out on on the streets of Thebes things are falling apart; poverty and dissent are breaking out into a nightmare of violence, gold and corruption seem all-powerful, and the city's shadowy underworld is itself witnessing mysterious acts of shocking brutality. Yet, when he receives a mysterious invitation to the secret halls of the Royal Palace, he cannot refuse.What he finds there, and the quest on which he embarks, will change his life, and put everything he thought he believed, and everything he loves, at risk. From FantasticFiction website.
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